The course entitled Impact of Philosophy is now more than halfway through. So far, and with attendances of between five and eleven (reflecting the impact of Covid 19) it has sought to examine our world in terms of the lasting practical effects that are still visible because of the application of philosophical concepts. Philosophy is not just complex talk, it is the very stuff of our human lives and proudest achievements.
Those powerful leaps in reasoning involve a myriad of schools of history-altering thought including (bio)ethics, logic, political, constitutional and social movements, social/scientific theories and the very way that so many forms of art portray and have moved us all over the centuries.
In his seminal book The Socrates Express (central focus of the course) author Eric Weiner went on multiple trains to visit the places where men like Socrates, Rousseau, Gandhi, Plato, Sartre and Nietzsche developed their world-changing thoughts. We follow Eric’s lead here in Tawa (at the Union church).
These were the gigantic figures who gave us Socratic method of argument, nonviolent protest, existentialism and the towering Social Contract. Group members Dave Smith, Graham Ellett, John Bolland, Anne Doggett plus Barbara (and Peter) Woods have delivered papers on these and many other topics.
By the end of the course we will also have listened to philosophy-based songs, viewed game-changing paintings (Mona Lisa), read novels of massive social import and dissected a Shakespeare tragedy (Macbeth) for telling echoes of these important landmarks in human thought. From 20 June onwards there will be several more sessions and all members are welcome to attend. The fortnightly schedule has been telescoped to make better use of time and resources. We will finish in early August.